breaking butterflies book coverReviewed by Jessa Larsen

Cadence and Sphinx were promised to each other years before they were even born. Now, as they inch closer to adulthood, one is a quiet, timid mouse and the other a shining, blindingly bright star, about to burst. Cadence may not be particularly concerned, but Sphinx battles endlessly. She is debating whether or not her life is her own and if her happiness truly lies in her mother’s childhood promise. Or should she run, run as far as she can, away from the chaos that resides within Cadence?

Sphinxie is sweet, compassionate, and plain. Cadence is brilliant, charismatic, but so very damaged. As a child, he almost took Sphinxie’s life but now he is losing the battle for his own and is desperately clinging to life while lashing out one last time at everyone around him. As it becomes more apparently how very broken and dangerous Cadence is, Sphinx must ultimately decide if she will join his macabre dance or if she will finally, fully, truly escape his grasp.

Anjelais is only 18 and Breaking Butterflies is her first novel. Although she is a very promising, budding author and I enjoyed her work, her age and novice writing is apparent. I instantly felt like the exotic names the characters were given were a prediction of how the book would progress. I enjoyed the topic of a sociopathic, empty shell of a person, but it was pretty textbook. I didn’t feel like I got sucked into the fear and chaos that was meant to be Cadence or the desperation that Sphinx felt when she was with him.

Cadence is the typical serial killing male who is charismatic, attractive, and enticing. Sphinx is the plain-jane, girl-next-door, quite type. Who would ever suspect that Cadence would want to be with her? But wait, their mother dreamed up a plan when they were just children so even though the two teens are complete opposites and live in separate countries, they’re destined to be together. Oh, and Cadence is not only mentally ill, he’s dying of leukemia.

I saw what the author was trying to do and it was apparent enough to be distracting. There were a lot of interesting and emotionally investing topics, but Anjelais tried to do too much, thus not allowing the story to do enough. I think there is a lot of potential in Anjelais and I believe she will only get better with time if she workshops this piece and improves with her next book.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Jessa lives in Utah with her husband, 2 sons, 2 dogs and a cat called Number One Boots Kitten. She is a full time mom and enjoys writing short stories in her spare time. She also likes watching anime, reading books, and playing video games.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by The Chicken House. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.